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Fed must name banks getting loans

March 21, 2011 at 12:18 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, March 21 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to block a lower-court ruling ordering the Federal Reserve to release the names of banks receiving emergency loans.

News agency Bloomberg sought the names in May 2008 during the middle of the financial crisis. Bloomberg's Freedom of Information Act request targeted loans "that the 12 Federal Reserve Banks made to private banks in April and May 2008 at ... the Discount Window, the Primary Dealer Credit Facility, the Term Securities Lending Facility and the Term Auction Facility," an appeals court said. "The Discount Window is the longstanding program through which the 12 Federal Reserve Banks make short-term loans [often overnight] to depository institutions, and it can serve as 'an emergency, backup source of liquidity' for borrowing depository institutions that lack other options."

The loans are made at rates set by auction.

A federal judge in New York refused to block the disclosure of the names, and a federal appeals court agreed in August 2009, saying a bank groups' claim for an exemption was not valid under FOIA.

The Supreme Court Monday refused to review the appeals court ruling in a one-sentence order, noting that Justice Elena Kagan, who was U.S. solicitor general when the Fed case began, did not take part in the consideration of the case.

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